Sunday, August 29, 2010

A Boon Companion

How wonderful to have boon companions to be with along the road. I think there is a quote that talks about boon companions but I can't think of it at the moment.
Sitting down to write I often don't know where I'm going with my thoughts. So, I begin and hope that the words will come and that I'll have something worthy of saying that you may find of interest.

Definition of BOON

: benefit, favor; especially : one that is given in answer to a request
: a timely benefit : blessing
What an interesting word! I think a "boon companion has been provided to me many times."  Benefit, favor a companion to walk beside you during journeys joyful and agonizing, and in answer to a request. How many times have you expressed the desire for a friend, someone to walk with you through a diffcult time and they have been provided.


noun, often attributive \kəm-ˈpan-yən\

Definition of COMPANION

: one that accompanies another : comrade, associate; also : one that keeps company with another
obsolete : rascal
a : one that is closely connected with something similar b : one employed to live with and serve another
: a celestial body that appears close to another but that may or may not be associated with it in space 

I believe the combination of boon and companion tells of a deep and sometimes temporary bringing together of people to walk a path. One such instance has arisen in my life recently that has caused me to meditate on these words. A friend and dear lady and her husband have received news that he has pancreatic cancer with but a short time to live. My prayer and hope is that I can be a boon companion to them in the difficult days ahead. The doctor has given him a very short time line and so many large and small decisions to make and long painful emotional and physical days. These friends will need "boon companions" to be there with them. I am but one companion given for this time.  

Who is your boon companion? Do you have one now, in the past? For many that companion is a dog and in doing research images of dogs alone and with their companions has show up regularly. I like the image of a boon companion, someone to be with me through good and bad times, sickness and health, rich or poor .... wait, that sounds like my wonderful husband or my best friend, always there to help and encourage, we are definitely a blessing to one another and hopefully to those around us.

May your life be filled with boon companions and, support and encouragement in all things. 

Thursday, August 26, 2010


Tuesday a friend of mine who is an artist/jewelry maker/designer and a great encourager was talking about starting a blog. I told her it's easy and that I have one, then sent her the address so she could check it out. I told her I would help her set her's up. Later that day I received an email from her. She liked my blog and mentioned particularly that my writing was good and why didn't I consider writing?

Well, hmmm, yet another "validation" of my so called talents. I decided that I needed to take a look at my blog and see if I agreed with her assessment.  I think I kind of Lso I am blogging again for how ever long I feel moved.

Years ago my high school art teacher said something like " . . . art is 5% talent and 95% hard work. . ." In thinking about that now I realize that the 95% is comprised of discipline, education and consistently doing what ever it is that you want to do! It does take talent its true but you can't make it without the other 95%. The practice will do much to help me keep going and keeping going is accomplished by just DOING IT.

Learning to play an instrument, for me it was the guitar, was the doing it. Every day, working at holding those strings a little tighter, moving a little faster, stretching those fingers to cover more of the fret board and strings. I had a "talent" for playing the instrument but unless I was willing to have the discipline to work everyday I never would have made it. Playing the guitar has been a lifelong pursuit and I must say, that discipline has not been practiced and I'm pretty rusty now. Until about ten years ago I was playing regularly. There were many small victories along the way, not the lease of which was learning and being able to use bar chords. They're hard because you have to bar a fret with your index finger and then use the rest of them to hold a chord.

Me, aunt Norma and uncle Joe, circa 1980

I began with the ukulele when I was in fourth grade. Never mind that I really wanted a piano I got a uke. My mom, grandmother, great aunt and uncle all played uke's and I even took lessons. Mom was great about taking me every week to a lesson and I really enjoyed it. The family sitting around singing and playing loomed large in my upbringing. My dad played the harmonica, by ear, couldn't read a note of music. When I consider that now it's pretty amazing.  I learned to play by ear as well as follow chords for the uke and the guitar. 

The practicing I did on my first guitar was pretty painful. The guitar cost five dollars and the fret board and neck were so warped the strings sat about a half an inch off the fret board. This made for some challenging playing. Also the tuning pegs were missing so to tune the guitar took pliers. And I did all that. I think I was pretty motivated. The first month or so I gradually built up callouses which peeled and hurt and bled until they achieved the proper tempering.

The sixties was a good time to play the guitar. Folk music was in it's heyday and hootnanys abounded especially when I was at college in sixty-two and three.  I had a good voice and often sang  500 miles in the Mary Travers style. Joan Baez had produced a record of many of the Child's Ballads which were also favorites of mine. Endless verses of the travails of time. These ballads became the backbone of many of the folk ballads of the time.

Then . . . I met a man/guy and fell in love. Trouble was, he could play any instrument with very little effort. I was very intimidated and didn't really play at all during the five years we were together. I hated him for that and myself for allowing that to happen. I lost a lot of joy during that time. Then . . . he went his way and me and my guitar went another, re-reunited once again we began a tender, and tenuous relationship, and I found my voice.

The guitar became my entre to lots of growing experiences which I won't go into at this time. Maybe in the future. But, music had once again become primary in my life.

All this is a long way around to talk about doing and discipline but it is a fact, without those I would not have had as satisfying a life as I have.

The take away? Apply myself, practice, write, quilt, make jewelry, any of those things that help my creativity to grow and blossom. At this time, my guitar is in the closet and has been since we moved here three years ago. I need to get re-acquainted with my instrument. Whether it is in music, quilting, jewelry making or writing. It's time to get to "work" again on those sustaining activities that I've set aside.

More to come for sure but right now . . . . my creativity is calling me.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Rocks and Crashing Sounds

I choose that title because you may think I've been hiding under a rock somewhere...I have I think but I'm ready to stick my nose out. The crashing sounds come from the sound of silence being broken after a long hiatus. Not a particularly productive time exactly but an interesting time.

I do feel to begin by apologizing is no way to get back into writing, so if you are really, truly curious about the rock I've been under, ask me and I'll try to answer. In the meantime, I just want to write.

In the last month I've been encouraged by at least three people to get serious about my art. I know I don't want to go into business with my art (quilts, jewelry, knitting) I just want to create. If someone likes it great but I'm not going to advertise my stuff. Now, there are those out there who wonder why not? Well, I'm good at creating but forget marketing and business savy. I'm an artist, not an MBA thank you very much.
Some how having to go out and beat the bush trying to convince folks that they need to buy my "stuff/art" has no appeal what so ever.

I find it very difficult to express all that I have to say in one sitting. Then because I save it with the intention of coming back and finishing I often just don't bother. Sleeping on it isn't always the best way to do things but it is often called for.

Now about my work/stuff/art. I was in Southern California for about three weeks in July and August. My uncle who I was visiting loves to go to see art so we made a stop at a local gallery in Vista where he lives. I am not sure exactly how the conversation started but there was some very beautiful beaded jewelry. I was talking with the artist about her work and also ended up in a conversation with another artist. I showed her some pictures of my work (bless my iPhone). The first thing she asked is if I had a website. I assured her I did not."Well why not" she asked. I answered "because I don't take myself seriously." What a sad statement about my regard for what I do. Her words in return were "well you should." Properly chastised I spent quite a bit of time chewing on that and asking myself..."well, why the hell not?" How can I expect anyone else to take my work seriously if I don't. Good question don't you think?

Flash forward to a recent martini and jewelry party. The artist whose jewelry was being shown was/is truly an exceptional artist. She works in her craft daily and makes amazing jewelry. So, I showed her some of my seed bead embellished bracelets and other work. She remarked particularly that I should enter my bracelets in a seed bead competition explaining that she felt very confident that my work would place! is another person validating my worth as an artist. And this gal should know because she works for a large international supplier called Fire Mountain Gems. Okay...more to think over an absorb.

I'm expressing all this because I need to do so. Seeing in writing what others have said validates me and my work.

So, that said I'd like to insert here a wonderful short film from YouTube called "Validation." It is a film that should be viewed often, at least once a week. It's clever and very true. I hope you will enjoy this film. Watch often as it will help you get through those ghastly red meanie days..